Missing Iran Christian women seen in Tehran prison

April 19, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Missing Iran Christian Women Seen In Tehran PrisonIran, April 19, 2013: Comments from the daughter of influential Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggest that two missing evangelical Christian women are still alive and serving time in Tehran’s feared Evin Prison, Iranian media and Christians said Tuesday, April 16.

In her first interview since being released from prison, Faezeh Hashemi spoke with admiration about her cellmates, including “two Christian ladies” who she called “great people”, according to an Iranian media report translated by Mohabat News, a well-informed news agency of Iranian Christians and activists.

Hashemi, a rights activist and former legislator, was released last month after serving six months in Evin Prison on charges of “making propaganda against the ruling Islamic system” in interviews with media.

“These statements of Mrs. Hashemi about seeing two Christian ladies in prison causes the assumption that they could have been Mitra Zahmati and Maryam Jalili,” Mohabat News told BosNewsLife in a statement.

“They are still being held in Evin prison since their arrest”, the agency added.

FAMILIES “THREATENED”

Little is known about the two Christian prisoners as security forces have pressured their families not to release information about their real situation, Iranian Christians say.

Maryam Jalili and Mitra Zahmati were reportedly detained in the summer of 2011 and later sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on charges of “evangelizing, proselytizing Muslims and membership of illegal groups”, an apparent reference to house churches.

“They spent some of their time in the notorious 209 ward [of Evin Prison] and then were transferred to the general ward where, it is believed, they met Faezeh Hashemi…”, Mohabat News said.

Besides the Christians, Hashemi said she also met inmates with other political and religious backgrounds including “some Baha’i ladies, some members of the Mojahedin organization [and] two of the ‘Mourning Mothers of Park Laleh’,” referring to a group of Iranian women whose spouses of children were killed by government forces in protests following the disputed presidential elections of 2009.

She also saw “a number of green movement activists, journalists, an Iraqi lady, and some Seculars…”

Hashemi has been banned from political activities for five years, her lawyer said recently.

– bosnewslife

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